Presenter | Filmmaker | Mountain Leader
My motto: I’ll be in pain doing nothing, so I'd rather get out there and be in pain doing something.
I have spent a lot of my life crippled by mental health challenges and chronic physical pain. This has led me to try to end my life on a number of occasions. And yet from an early age I have consistently sought to give adversity a purpose.
Below is a speedy tour of my story about how I have turned my flames into a phoenix.
As a child nowhere felt safe except being out in nature. I quickly learnt to channel my suffering into storytelling with a bigger motive, with film being my medium of choice to communicate my message. At the age of 13 I shot my first short film about the devastating effects of palm oil production, which won a place in a national competition and opened up the opportunity for me to speak in the European Parliament to MEPs about the importance of ingredient labels on products.
I then went on to establish a production company, Song Thrush Productions, and at 15 my film about marine debris won a young persons award from Sir David Attenborough. A few years on at 18, two weeks out from my A-Levels, I stood on top of Mount Kilimanjaro with a team of world-renowned scientists and conservationists as lead producer for a film about the effect of global climate change on the mountain's glaciers.
Since then my work quickly gained national and international recognition and I produced films for companies and events of all shapes and sizes—from the United Nations and Jurassic Coast UNESCO team, to town councils, educational charities and fundraising events before turning 20.
However, during this time I was battling to choose life. I was attempting to manage an eating disorder, and struggling with self harm and suicidal tendencies.
I decided to step away from film and trained to operate as a qualified wellness coach and personal trainer, training clients on a 1-1 and small group basis. I also taught as a beginners running coach and class instructor, teaching Boxercise, Group Cycle and Circuits.
Yet I couldn’t deny my passion for the storytelling, film, and outdoors and so in 2016 I established Spend More Time In The WILD after realising the power of speaking openly and authentically about my personal struggles with mental ill health and more recently, chronic pain. The goal of WILD is to inspire and empower individuals to enjoy more quality time outside for the benefit of improving mental and physical health and wellbeing, whilst building meaningful connections with the natural world and each other. Just like I do. Over the years WILD has grown into a worldwide community of passionate and courageous individuals working together to enjoy the beauty of our wild spaces and protect them for generations to come.
Nowadays I am working to build an archive of films exploring trails from around the world, and through these documentaries I also dig into themes that offer hope and empowerment for viewers. I seek to share my story as I push my limits as often as I can, rarely allowing crippling life events or fear to hold me back, whether than be getting comfortable with solo wild camping in remote places or facing my fears of water by learning to scuba dive.
I am now a qualified Mountain Leader and Hill and Moorland Leader, a certified Advanced Outdoor First Aider and Mental Health First Aider, and a qualified PADI Advanced Open Water Diver with numerous speciality PADI qualifications.
I host group walks and talks in the wilder areas of the UK for those looking to head outside for the first time, and I offer speaking events and workshops across the country which explore how we can all take steps to safeguard our mental health and wellbeing through time spent in the natural world.
If you'd like to work together, please check out my 'Work With Abbie' page and then drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you!
Shortlisted for 'Park Protector Award', 2022
Winner of 'BMC Women In Adventure, Most Viewed Film Award', 2021
Shortlisted for 'BMC Women In Adventure', 2020
Global Youth Awards - 'Environmental Rejuvenation - Demonstration of Leadership', 2018
Shortlisted for 'BMC Women In Adventure', 2018
'Wild Film Fest' - adventure film winner, 2018
Speaker at the Wildscreen Film Festival, 2016
Environmental Steward for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, 2016
Open University and BBC 'Earth In Vision' project, 2016
Top producer credits from UN Web TV, 2016
Presenter for the United Nations World Ocean and Environment Day 2015
Former Associate of the Linnean Society of London, 2015
Received one of six places for the 'Wildscreen Roar Talent Bursary', 2014
Shortlisted for 'The Network', 2014
'Action for Nature EcoHeros Award' 2013
'Save Our Oceans, Recycle Your Plastic' - shortlisted for the Innsbruck Film Festival, 2013
'Save Our Oceans, Recycle Your Plastic' - winner of the EcoTales Film Festival, 2013
'Young Darwin Scholarship' with the Field Studies Council 2012
'Palm Oil' - winner of the Young People's Trust For The Environment Film Competition, 2012